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Krzysztof Wichniewicz




Location: Gdańsk, Poland
Joined: 15 Mar 2014

Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sat 26 Sep, 2015 2:08 pm    Post subject: Effectiveness of pteruges (flaps)         Reply with quote

As I said, I want to know how effective were these, and how well they protected body. I am mainly interested in their use for hips protection. I meant like here
Or here https://www.pinterest.com/pin/456763587182803195/
How well they protected body compared to other solutions? Assume same material and quality.
Thanks for help in advance.
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

Posts: 1,306

PostPosted: Sat 26 Sep, 2015 4:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, it's a good question! And unfortunately there's no solid answer. They had to be worth the effort and weight, since they continued in use for hundreds of years, either attached to the original tube-and-yoke cuirass (whether leather or layered linen), or attached to a metallic cuirass. The Romans picked them up from the Greeks, and while we might theorize that those worn by Roman officers were simply a Hellenistic tradition and may have been more decorative than protective, we also seem them used by grunt legionaries at times.

So SOMEbody thought they were useful!

Matthew
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Jeffrey Faulk




Location: Georgia
Joined: 01 Jan 2011

Posts: 578

PostPosted: Mon 28 Sep, 2015 10:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So, Matthew... nobody has ever put on a cup, some pads, mounted a properly done up suit of armour, and taken a few shots for Science (TM)? Wink I honestly find that slightly difficult to believe... they've done it with plate and maille for some time now. Admittedly the Classical era is probably not one that gets a lot of practical testing, but still.
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

Posts: 1,306

PostPosted: Mon 28 Sep, 2015 10:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeffrey Faulk wrote:
So, Matthew... nobody has ever put on a cup, some pads, mounted a properly done up suit of armour, and taken a few shots for Science (TM)? Wink I honestly find that slightly difficult to believe... they've done it with plate and maille for some time now. Admittedly the Classical era is probably not one that gets a lot of practical testing, but still.


Ha, wouldn't that be a blast? The problem is that we know almost nothing about the materials and thicknesses! Leather was used, and linen was used. That's about all we can be sure of. For the leather, how was it tanned (WAS it tanned?), was it treated after tanning/tawing, how thick, layered, etc. For the linen, how thick or fine was the thread, how tightly woven, how many layers, how tightly quilted, etc. There's just nothing to work from. You could certainly do a series of tests with a variety of possibilities, and people have done things like that but they end up being very misleading because they are used as evidence of what WAS done historically.

It gets even more complicated with Roman pteruges, since many of those pictured on aristocrats and emperors are shown as soft and floppy. Sometimes people will complain that they don't look protective--but they weren't intended for protection! They're just part of the fashion. But we don't know if we can carry that over to those worn by common soldiers.

Of course, even the protective pteruges were only intended to stop points and edges, not blunt trauma. That adds another touch of concern for your test dummy...

Matthew
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